Do You Know Where Your Food Comes From?
Recent trends have more and more people in Colorado - and the rest of the country - buying local and organic produce. KUNC Gardener Tom Throgmorton says you can’t get any more local than a CSA farm...
On the Western Slope we have orchards and vineyards. The High Plains host acres and acres of grains. In between there is rangeland.
Agriculture used to be a main economic force in Colorado. Agriculture bolstered the local, rural economy. Farmers took care of the land they tended. Consumers could buy fresh food and they knew where it was grown. That part of agriculture is still strong in Colorado. It’s Community Supported Agriculture, CSA.
A CSA farm sells memberships for shares of the harvest. During the growing season the farm distributes fresh produce to the members. If it hails or frosts the members get less produce just like the farmer would. During good growing seasons the shares are bountiful.
Buying into a CSA farm keeps income in the local economy. CSA farms are part of the neighborhood, town or county. The money they earn stays close to home.
A CSA farm is part of our open space. As more homes are built and more ag-land changed into malls, we need some open space. Supporting a CSA farm keeps land available for farming. In Ft. Collins, we have CSA farms in the middle of neighborhoods. Surrounded by suburban lawns these farms thrive. Other, larger CSA farms maintain open space in the northern part of our county.
The trend is to buy local and organic produce. You can’t get any more local than a CSA farm. Most CSA farms also grow produce organically. If they aren’t certified organic growers they usually use fewer chemicals than mass production farms.
Being a CSA member you can see how and where your food is being grown. Your kids can see that salads don’t just come pre-made in bags. Salad stuff comes from sun, water and work.
Some CSA farms offer working shares. The farmer trades produce for the member’s work on the farm. Members can pull weeds, help harvest and distribute food or do office chores as part of their membership.
The growing season is here. Check into a CSA farm to keep the local economy and agriculture vibrant.